Welcome to the Founding Chapter of The Links, Incorporated

The Philadelphia (PA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was founded on November 9, 1946 by co-founders Margaret Rosell Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott. These women leveraged their network and resources to assemble a dynamic team of seven other Links that constituted what was originally referred to as "The Philadelphia Club.”

About The Links, Incorporated

The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of more than 16,000 professional women of African descent in 292 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom.
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The Founding Chapter

It all began in Philadelphia. Learn more about the founding chapter and the nation’s premiere service and philanthropic organization for African American women.

Program Facets

The Links, Incorporated is an organization of accomplished, dedicated women who are active in your community. Learn more about our five Facet focus.

Scholarships

Learn more about the Margaret Rosell Hawkins Arts and Sarah Strickland Scott Academic Scholarships.

About Us

The Philadelphia Chapter

The Philadelphia Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was founded on November 9, 1946 by co-founders Margaret Rosell Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott. These women leveraged their network and resources to assemble a dynamic team of seven other Links that constituted what was originally referred to as “The Philadelphia Club.”

In less than one year of our chapter’s founding, the Philadelphia Links provided a nearly $10,000 cash gift (close to $100,000 based on the 2014 CPI Inflation Calculator) to the Bureau of Colored Children to assist with tending to the needs of orphaned African American children. Three years later, a nationalization meeting was held in Philadelphia as other African American women’s clubs sought to officially affiliate as Links chapters.

This historical move further solidified The Links as the premiere service and philanthropic organization for African American women. Within a short time frame, scores of Links chapters were chartered throughout the country. Today, the membership consists of more than 16,000 professional women of African descent in 292 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom.

The Philadelphia Chapter continues to perpetuate the legacy of service through our programming and philanthropy within the Greater Philadelphia region. We have contributed millions of dollars and tens of thousands of service hours to several organizations in our area since our inception. Among our chapter membership ranks, the Philadelphia Chapter is proud to include business, education, and non-profit leaders that are dedicated to positive community transformation.

The Beginning: Philadelphia

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The Links, Incorporated was founded by two Philadelphia matrons on November 9, 1946.

Photo is not to be used without the expressed written permission of the Philadelphia Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.
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On that evening, Margaret Rosell Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott, two young Philadelphia matrons, invited seven of their friends to join them in organizing a new type of inter-city club. This organizing meeting of The Links was not a spontaneous action. In 1945, Link Hawkins had conceived the idea of a group of clubs composed of friends along the eastern seaboard and had spent many hours with Link Scott in thinking, planning and discussing the possibilities of such an endeavor.

The two women envisioned an organization that would respond to the needs and aspirations of Black women in ways that existing clubs did not. It was their intent the club would have a threefold aim–civic, educational, and cultural. Based on these aims, the club would implement programs, which its founders hoped would foster cultural appreciation through the arts; develop richer inter-group relations; and help women who participated to understand and accept their social and civic responsibilities.

Besides the two founders, the original members of the Philadelphia Club were Links Frances Atkinson, Katie Green, Marion Minton, Lillian Stanford, Myrtle Manigault Stratton, Lillian Wall, and Dorothy Wright. The club elected Margaret Hawkins as president, Sarah Scott as vice president, Myrtle Manigault Stratton as recording secretary, Frances Atkinson as corresponding secretary, and Dorothy Wright as treasurer.

Original Philadelphia Club Members

Officers

Gina Golson Nunery
President

Zakiya Black Barnett
Vice President

Terri Randall
Recording Secretary

Crystal Lacey
Corresponding Secretary

MarvaLisa Scott
Treasurer

Denise Wynne Baker
Financial Secretary

La-Toya Hackney
Parliamentarian

Ellyn Jo Waller
Program Chair

Terri Dean
Strategic Planning Chair

Leah Smith Sheppard
Immediate Past President

Facet Committee Chairs

THE ARTS
Rosalyn McPherson, Chair
Nicole Allen-White, Co-chair

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
Judith Gay, Chair
Renee Allen, Co-Chair

INTERNATIONAL TRENDS & SERVICES
Mariska Bogle, Chair
Monica Alston, Co-Chair

NATIONAL TRENDS & SERVICES
Terri Lee Taylor, Chair
Sherri Kyle, Co-Chair

SERVICES TO YOUTH
Valerie Robinson, Chair
Claire Burris, Co-Chair

Standing Committees

ARCHIVES & HISTORY
Patricia Wilson Aden, Chair

AUDIT
Terri Lee Taylor, Chair

CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS
La-Toya Hackney, Chair

ETHICS & STANDARDS
Renee Allen, Chair

CHAPLAIN
Terri Dean, Chaplain

COURTESY
Trummell Lamb, Chair

FINANCE
MarvaLisa Scott, Chair

FUND DEVELOPMENT
Jasmin Senior Bostic, Chair

MEMBERSHIP
Zakiya Black Barnett, Chair

NOMINATING
Sherri Kyle, Chair

PROTOCOL & RITUALS
Catherine Manning Adams, Chair - Protocols
Faatimah Gamble, Chair - Rituals

SCHOLARSHIP / HBCU INITIATIVE
Sherilynn Johnson Kimble, Chair

STEM INITIATIVE
Evelyn Sample-Oats, Chair

LEGISLATIVE & REGULATORY
Sherilynn Johnson Kimble, Chair

STRATEGIC PLANNING
Terri Dean, Chair

TECHNOLOGY
Keesha Boyd, Chair

VISION 2020
Jasmin Senior Bostic, Chair

COMMUNICATIONS (PR & WEB)
Kisha Hortman Hawthorne, Chair

ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVNESS
Mahlene Duckett Lee, Chair

Alumna Members

Barbara Bell Adderley
Willadine Bain
Linnette Black
Toni Brazington
Angela Crockett
Florence Anne Frazier

Velma W. Goode
Alma G. Goodwyn
Joyce Brown Harrison
Lisa Hawkins
Frances Jones
Lorraine Brown Long

Alicia Perkins
Marcella Hyde Rhoulhac
Dorothy Sumners Rush
Evelyn Smalls
Margaret Wright

About Us

Who We Are

The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The membership consists of more than 16,000 professional women of African descent in 292 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom.

It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.

Our Founders

The Links, Incorporated was founded by two Philadelphia matrons on November 9, 1946.

National Officers

Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, Ph.D.
National President

Ethel Isaacs Williams, Esq.
National Vice President

Sharon Dixon Gentry, Ed.D.
National Recording Secretary

Ethelyn S. Bowers
National Treasurer

Raynetta Waters
National Nominating Chair

Tyna D. Davis, Ed.D.
National Parliamentarian

What We Do

The outstanding programming of The Links, Incorporated has five facets which include: Services to Youth, The Arts, National Trends and Services, International Trends and Services and Health and Human Services. The programs are implemented through strategies such as public information and education, economic development, and public policy campaigns.

The members of The Links, Incorporated are influential decision makers and opinion leaders. The Links, Incorporated has attracted many distinguished women who are individual achievers and have made a difference in their communities and the world. They are business and civic leaders, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work towards a common vision by engaging like-minded organizations and individuals for partnership. Links members contribute more than 1 million documented hours of community service annually – strengthening their communities and enhancing the nation. The organization is the recipient of awards from the UN Association of New York and the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation for its premier programs. In 2019, The Links, Incorporated was nominated for a Luxembourg Peace Prize by the Schengen Peace Foundation and recognized by the late Congressman John Lewis as a distinguished organization of outstanding community service and influence.

About Us

President's Message

Greetings From the Philadelphia Chapter,

The Philadelphia Chapter is extremely proud to have the distinction of being the founding chapter of The Links, Incorporated. This year, we are celebrating our 75th anniversary and I am excited to continue to lead our chapter in serving the greater Philadelphia community. Our two founders, Margaret Rosell Hawkins and Sarah Strickland Scott, decided to invite seven of their friends to form what would become, the Links Incorporated in 1946. Little did these women know that their vision of friends working together for the betterment of their community, would result in the creation of a leading international organization recognized throughout educational, political, social and corporate sectors: tops among premier women’s organizations in the United States.

In 1946, these nine women, although part of the more privileged group of African-Americans in Philadelphia, recognized that many in their community, struggled to make ends meet and to provide for their families. They also recognized the inequities in employment opportunities for people of color; including those with college degrees. They set out to use their influence, not only to directly provide needed services in their community, but also to reach out to others of power in an attempt to effect positive change for African-Americans in Philadelphia.

Through programming, philanthropy, and other initiatives, the Philadelphia Chapter works to address educational, economic and social inequities by hands-on work in the community, partnerships with like-minded corporate citizens, and outreach to those in positions of influence throughout our country who recognize the need for, and desire to help, the underserved in our community.

I hope that you will visit the Philadelphia chapter’s website on a regular basis to see the work we are doing on behalf of citizens in the Philadelphia and surrounding region. From time to time, we encourage community members to join us in activities designed to further our efforts. Our motto, “Linked in Friendship, Connected in Service” will guide us. We will continue to work, in the spirit of our Founders, as long as there is work to be done.

Sincerely,

Gina Golson Nunery, President
The Philadelphia Chapter
The Links, Incorporated

Program Facets

The Links, Incorporated is an organization of accomplished, dedicated women who are active in your community. The Links members are newsmakers, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work toward the realization of making the name “Links” not only a chain of friendship, but also a chain of purposeful service.

The Arts

The GOAL of The Arts Facet is to increase and expand our arts and culture activity in the Greater Philadelphia region through meaningful programs and solid relationships with organizational partners. We intend to be a conduit and liaison to the people we serve and the outstanding arts institutions in our region. We will foster a love of the arts among our young people and cultivate patronage and attendance among adults in our community.

Committee

Rosalyn McPherson, Chair
Nicole Allen-White, Co-Chair

Areas of Focus

The Links support of the arts can be traced to our cultured co-founder Margaret Rosell Hawkins. Her innate artistic talent, discovered at a young age, earned her a four-year scholarship to the Women’s School of Design, later known as the Moore Institute of Art. Her passion for creative expression later led to her appointment as an art teacher, and helped give root to the establishment of The Arts facet in 1964 at the 14th National Assembly.

Throughout the nation today, Links Chapters partner with museums, symphonies, arts councils, educational institutes and corporations in order to support art programs, especially where there is a focus on artists of color. Links are creating and supporting opportunities for educating minority youth in the arts and presenting and supporting performances by youth and accomplished professional artists in a diversity of disciplines.

Program Facets

The Links, Incorporated is an organization of accomplished, dedicated women who are active in your community. The Links members are newsmakers, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work toward the realization of making the name “Links” not only a chain of friendship, but also a chain of purposeful service.

Health & Human Services

The Links, Incorporated established the Health and Human Services facet in response to the chronic health disparities that persist in our communities and result in the decreased life expectancy of African-Americans. This new facet brings greater focus, resources, and coordination to The Links, Incorporated’s health initiatives already in existence. With the expansion of partnerships with national health agencies, and more definitive structure and support for our health related signature programs, our mission can flourish.

Committee

Judith Gay, Chair
Renee Allen, Co-Chair

Areas of Focus

The mission of the Health and Human Services facet is to promote and facilitate programs that support the maintenance of good health and the elimination of chronic health disparities in communities of color through education, health advocacy, and optimal utilization of health resources. Community education about health risks is crucial and The Links, Incorporated can play a significant role in providing it.

There has been an increase in the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and stroke in ethnic communities. Obesity, diabetes and physical inactivity are all risk factors that can be modified. African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer and early detection would allow for effective treatment and cure. We will educate members about healthy lifestyles and disease prevention to ensure that we become models of the health behavior we ourselves hope to promote in our communities.

The areas of emphasis are cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and organ, tissue and blood donation. All health-related programs will find a home within the new facet. This includes our signature programs: HeartLinks, Linkages to Life, and Walk for Healthy Living, as well as the National Childhood Obesity Initiative, oral health, brain health initiatives, and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure national partnership.

Program Facets

The Links, Incorporated is an organization of accomplished, dedicated women who are active in your community. The Links members are newsmakers, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work toward the realization of making the name “Links” not only a chain of friendship, but also a chain of purposeful service.

International Trends & Services

The International Trends and Services facet provides services and delivers transformational programs to people of African ancestry globally so that they may have a better quality of life. Programs are designed and developed to service educational, health and cultural needs and to help people emerge from poverty. A primary objective of our international work is to enrich the lives of women and their families.

Our primary partner is Girls, Inc. We want them to understand how they can become global citizens while making an impact on the communities in which they live.

Committee

Mariska Bogle, Chair
Monica Alston, Co-chair

Areas of Focus

Goals
Educate to foster awareness of the global water crisis while taking action to provide funds for a water, sanitation, or hygiene project for a school in the developing country, specifically Africa.Develop an educational trajectory in STEM with a focus on water conservation and sustainability through hands-on activities, lessons and independent research.Promote international career opportunities with guest speakers, recommended reading and panel discussions.Introduce the accessibility to clean water as a social justice issue.Build awareness of and paths toward global career opportunities.Increase personal and academic self-confidence and self-awareness.

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Through our work with Girls, Inc. and our partner non-profit H20 for Life, we were able to support the Mitalamaria Islamic Primary - Girls Latrines & Bathing project.

https://www.h2oforlifeschools.org/sponsors/768

We look forward to continuing our work with the girls and other partners to achieve our goals in the program year.

Program Facets

The Links, Incorporated is an organization of accomplished, dedicated women who are active in your community. The Links members are newsmakers, role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work toward the realization of making the name “Links” not only a chain of friendship, but also a chain of purposeful service.

National Trends & Services

The VISION of the National Trends and Services facet is to eliminate disparities by reducing barriers to services through advocacy, education, and service.

Our MISSION is to empower our chapters to effectively empower the communities in which we work.

Our GOALS include increasing the number of sustainable and measurable programs; increasing collaborative partnerships; and extending our existing initiatives to include communities identified as having the greatest need.

Committee

Terri Lee Taylor, Chair
Sherri Kyle, Co-Chair

Areas of Focus

Activities over the last two years
Over the past 10 years violent incidents in the Philadelphia public schools have been increasing at an alarming rate. It became very clear to school administrators, teachers and the overall community drastic measures should be taken to help save our youth. Hearings were held by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations that revealed that more could and should be done by our school system and adults to have a meaningful impact.

Studies show that youth who engage with positive role models and have a positive experience can change their outlook on life. In addition to the Philadelphia public schools, The Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia is one of several community organizations that enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Our program began with the M. Hall Stanton School, but it is now closed. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia provide a safe place for youth to learn life skills from caring, adult professionals; to help develop strengthen their character. One of their core courses in their leadership program is anti-bullying and we have initiated a new relationship and program design with them.

The goals of the “Bullying, Trash Talking: It’s No Joke” program are three fold:
1. Educate the youth on what bullying is and the effects of bullying2. Demonstrate through interactive sessions solutions to bullying3. Provide a safe environment for the youth to discuss and debate bullying